Overcome Onboarding Challenges For Web3 Games

November 23, 2022

Alias, Lan Vu

Most gamers, especially those unemployed or coming from developing countries, expect to earn monetary benefits in return for their time investments in GameFi projects. However, gamers’ earnings in games are hindered by the gap between web2 and web3 due to the lack of funds, technical knowledge, trust in the crypto space, and the process to purchase in-game items. GameFi projects need to start offering free testing; implementing community support layers; recruiting crypto-native professionals; and integrating payment orchestration SDK for a seamless fiat on-ramping experience.

Challenges for web3 gaming projects

1. High costs to start

Most players’ joy in playing web3 games declines when they find out how much money they need to invest in the game to get started. For example in May 2021, the cost of a three-Axie team was around US$1,000 – a price not every new gamer would be willing to pay. 

2. Technical barriers for newcomers

Before all web3 enthusiasts are what they are now, we all had a long process of understanding what crypto wallets, in-game tokens, NFTs, etc. are. Despite the continuous creation of new concepts and terms, the information pipeline for the newbies across many blockchain games remains poorly developed. 

3. Skepticism about crypto and web3

Skepticism in rug pulls and fraudulent projects prevents more than 70% of gamers to play crypto games. On top of that, the self-regulating crypto market and its volatility add another test of trust for inexperienced players.

4. Long process of fiat onramping to purchase in-game tokens/items

About 90% of the web3 games our team has been playing are adopting a very long-winded flow, similar to the one below. This makes ‘onboarding the next millions [or billions] of gamers to web3’ sound like a major stretch: 

The current fiat onramp flow of DeFi Kingdoms

The quickest way for players to start enjoying the game is still burdensome and compounds fees up quickly. This leads back to the first pain point, which is the high cost to start playing.

What should GameFi projects do?

1. Allowing the gamers to test out the game before investing in it

The free-to-play model (a Freemium model version in web3) could be the answer to shifting the dynamic away from P2E. It enables players to try out some game features before investing a considerable amount of money in them. For example, LULU Market, a web3 game where players can play and earn $LUCK tokens, on-chain goods, and off-chain assets, allows all players to choose between their play-to-earn or free-to-play mode.

2. Implementing more support layers for community channels

Crypto games should consider creating country-focused channels to best serve each sub-community or build an automated flow of information pipeline to welcome new players. Cyberstella is a localized gaming community on Discord, where members are categorized and supported in their native languages. Unbound, on the other hand, has developed its Gamers Management Tool (GMT) to reduce the onboarding time of players.

3. Building a high-value and crypto-native marketing team

Having solid crypto-native moderators, social media content creators, and company leaders could help build trust between the new players and the core team. Web3 gaming companies like Illuvium, Gods Unchained, and more, organize an ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) from time to time via Reddit, Twitch, etc. to answer anything their audience wants to know about the game or gaming market. This helps reassure the community and portrays the image of their company and of the collective GameFi community.

4. Integrating an orchestration layer for a seamless onramping experience

To make it easier for gamers to join web3 games, game studios should consider facilitating payment solutions that can help players purchase in-game assets easier. How? Enable the players to pay with their local fiat currencies in the game for in-game tokens and/or NFTs. 

Here is the flow we’re trying to build for web3 games targeting markets with low card penetration (<30%) and high card transaction failure rates (>60%):

A simplified flow for fiat onramp in web3 games

Conclusion

We still have a long way to go to onboard ‘billions of users to web3’ so it’s important to map out the bottlenecks and be creative with the solutions to them. GameFi projects need to keep in mind the pain points of new players, some of which are the costs to start playing; the technical barriers for new web3 users; their skepticism around crypto sector; and the long process to purchase in-game tokens/items. Based on what we've seen in the market, web3 game studios could tackle the above issues by allowing gamers to test the games before paying; integrating more support layers in their game community; building a crypto-native marketing team; and integrating a better onramp solution for a frictionless purchasing experience for the gamers.

Poko helps web3 games, wallets, and other dApps increase successful user onboarding and monetization by up to 5x through localized payment experiences.

Reach out to us to see how we can help provide a fiat-to-crypto/NFT payment solution for you globally.

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